German Shepherd: Is This The Right Guard Dog Breed For Your Family?
What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the name, German Shepherd? Odds are your mind immediately goes to a black and tan dog with pointy ears that’s usually cloaked in police gear!
While we would have to agree that that’s a common correlation since the breed is synonymous with the police force and the military, German Shepherds are more than just their job title as a protector!
In this blog post, we’re going to take a deeper dive and give you a full rundown on this breed so that you can determine whether or not a German Shepherd is the right dog for you and your family.
We’ll round out this blog post with five extra fun facts that you might not have known about the German Shepherd.
If this sounds like information you want to know, keep reading!
First and foremost, the German Shepherd, also known as the Alsatian in parts of Europe is among the top 10 most popular dog breeds in the United States and understandably so. This breed exudes a high-caliber of intelligence, courage, and dedication that are virtually unrivaled by other dog breeds.
These characteristics make this breed versatile in that they can be integral members of the police force and military while at the same time, being the perfect addition to a family.
But, while a German Shepherd might be the missing puzzle piece in some homes, it’s not for others so it’s important to understand that this breed isn’t for everyone.
Characteristics of a German Shepherd
- German Shepherd dogs have a lot of energy which is due in part to the fact that they were originally bred to be herding dogs. This means that this dog requires a lot of activity and exercise to tire out. If you’re not one for extended periods of exercise or feel like you can’t devote an adequate amount of time to play with your dog, the German Shepherd might not be for you because this breed will express boredom in ways that you won’t like such as barking and chewing.
- This breed has an innate aloofness and can be construed as suspicious to strangers. However, this temperament can be adjusted early on during puppyhood. In order to raise a German Shepherd that’s well behaved in social settings, you’ll have to be willing to expose your puppy to a variety of environments and experiences to get them used to strangers and strange places. It’s important to start obedience training as soon as possible.
- If you’re looking for a hypoallergenic dog, German Shepherds are not your answer! In fact, this breed has been humorously dubbed as the “German Shedder” as they shed, shed, and shed some more! If you like vacuuming (a lot!) you should be just fine. To combat the shedding, you’ll have to commit yourself to brushing your German Shepherd several times a week!
- German Shepherds are intelligent which is a good thing and surprisingly, can be a bad thing! What we mean by that is if your German Shepherd is not mentally stimulated throughout the day, they’ll find their own (not-so-good) ways to occupy themselves which usually entails some sort of destruction! So, if you’re willing and able to keep your dog entertained, you’ll be in good shape.
- If you’re a softy, you might want to either toughen up or consider another dog breed. While that sounds harsh, it’s true. As we just mentioned in our last point, German Shepherds are smart dogs and their intelligence combined with their high-energy levels can make training a struggle. However, if you have the ability to remain consistent and stern with your commands, you’ll be able to develop and maintain a dog with good behavior. A strong breed like the German Shepherd requires a strong leader to keep them in line!
- German Shepherds tend to have a set of lungs on them meaning they can be very vocal at times. Given the fact that they’re wired to be protectors, they are very responsive and in tune with their surrounding environment which means they’re more apt to bark and alert their owners of the postal carrier dropping off their mail! While German Shepherds bark to alert, they also are innately talkative. So, if you prefer a quiet dog, this breed might not be ideal for you!
Whether or not a German Shepherd is the right breed for you, it’s always interesting to learn something new! With that being said, we’re going to round out this post with some fun facts about the German Shepherd that you can share with your fellow dog lovers or even at an upcoming cocktail party.
Five Facts about the German Shepherd
- Did you know that Buddy, a female German Shepherd, was the first seeing eye dog for her owner in the 1920s? This marked the beginning of the use of service dogs who continue to give their owners a sense of independence to this day!
- In the 1990s, Schutzhund, a sport that was created specifically for German Shepherds was developed. It was meant to test the natural instincts of the breed to weed out the untrainable.
- The bite of a German Shepherd is powerful! In fact, it clocks in at about 238 pounds-per-square-inch (PSI) which measures the force of a bite. For context, a tiger shark’s PSI is 325!
- There’s a special club for older German Shepherds! If a German Shepherd is 12 years or older, he/she is eligible to be a member of The Thirteen Club which is run through the German Shepherd Dog Club of America.
- This breed has its own motto! The German Shepherd’s motto is Utility and Intelligence. This slogan came from Captain Max von Stephanitz and his original German Shepherd Dog Club!
Looking for a German Shepherd Protection Dog? Head on over to our available dog page to see what we have!